Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

Scientific name: Emberiza schoeniclus

Did you know: Reed Buntings can sometimes be spotted at garden bird tables during cold winters!

What Do Reed Buntings Look Like? (how to identify them)

Reed Buntings are comparable in size to sparrows but have a more slender build and a distinct, deeply notched tail. The males are characterised by a striking black head and a unique, drooping white ‘moustache’. Females and males in winter display a streaked head pattern. 

A notable feature in flight is their black tail adorned with wide, white edges.

Differences Between Male And Female Reed Buntings

Male Reed Buntings are distinguished by their black heads and throats, and a prominent white neck collar extending into a ‘moustache’. In contrast, female Reed Buntings have a more subdued appearance with streaky brown plumage and a less pronounced moustache mark.

What Do Reed Buntings Eat?

These birds primarily feed on seeds, but their diet also includes insects, especially when they are feeding their young.

Where Do Reed Buntings Live? (inc. migration info)

Reed Buntings are versatile in their habitat preferences, often found in wetlands, farmlands, and even urban areas. They are predominantly UK residents, but some populations migrate south during winter. They have adapted well to various environments, including reedbeds, moorlands, and even gardens.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Reed Buntings)

The Reed Bunting’s call is a distinctive mix of quiet, mellow ‘tsew’ and buzzy notes. Males are known for their halting song, particularly noticeable during spring and summer as they display their unique black-and-white head pattern from a prominent perch.

Fun Reed Bunting Facts (kid friendly)

  • Reed Buntings can visit your garden in winter, especially when it’s really cold.
  • Males have a cool black and white pattern on their heads, like wearing a nature-made mask!
  • They love to sing from high places like reeds or bushes.
  • These birds are great at camouflage, blending into their surroundings.
  • Reed Buntings are quite the travellers, with some flying to different places in winter.

Facts About The Reed Bunting

Diet: Seeds and insects.
Bird Family: Buntings
Length: 15-16.5cm
Wingspan: 21-28cm
Weight: 16-25g
Scientific Name: Emberiza schoeniclus

The Reed Bunting Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Reed Bunting Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile